Ireland reports first avian influenza case in 14 years

Health and agriculture officials in Ireland were recently alerted to the country's first case of avian influenza in 14 years.

The Irish Health Protection Surveillance Center announced that the case was predominantly an animal-health issue and posed no threat to the general public. Preliminary testing indicated that the virus identified was an H5 strain, but not the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain, according to

The virus was discovered in a flock of pheasants raised by a local gun club in County Cork. Those who have recently come into contact with the infected birds are being given anti-viral medication.

The pheasants, which were kept in an enclosure, were quickly slaughtered after the discovery. Health and agriculture authorities put a one kilometer restriction zone in place and are testing other animals in the area for infection.

"It is important to note that there is no concerns relating to the consumption of poultry meat or poultry-meat products and there are no restrictions on poultry movements outside the one kilometer restriction zone," health officials said, reports.

A local man with experience in Ireland's Department of Agriculture discovered the infection after independently investigating reports that several pheasants had inexplicably died. Gun clubs often keep hand-reared pheasants to release during hunting season.

Officials alerted birdwatchers in Cork to be on alert for any clusters of dead birds.